DAY ONE: A NEW PHASE OF THE JOURNEY
Today, you will begin the final three week section of this Bible study guide.
You are to be commended for staying with your study so long. In all likelihood
some of your peers have stopped reading and going through this guide, but you
have not. Well done and keep going.
The remaining three weeks of this study will focus on teaching you specific
Bible study skills and help you form your own study process. In the previous
seven weeks, we have skipped around in the scripture each day. In the final
three weeks you will begin to learn how to “systematically” go through a book of
the Bible and study it as a unit. There is a danger to skipping around each day
and not getting the context (verses around the verses that you are studying).
When you are reading scripture, you should, as often as possible, read through a
book or section, rather than just read one or two verses.
Over the next three weeks, you should use a paper copy of the scripture as
well as this guide. You will also need to continue journaling. In fact, over the
next few weeks you will be learning some additional ways to journal. Find a way
that fits your personality best and do that method. At this point, make sure
that any time a response is required, you record it in your journal. Try to
rewrite the question to help you remember what you studied. Also, make sure to
date your entries and record the scripture references.
What stands out to you about this passage (words, phrases, ideas, anything)?
Underline or highlight those things in your Bible.
Underlining and Highlighting: Anytime you read the Bible, you are
giving the Holy Spirit an opportunity to teach you more about God, show you
God’s will for your life, and help you become more like Christ. When the Holy
Spirit speaks through scripture, He may cause you to notice certain parts more
than others, help you remember truths you have learned or bring to your mind
things in your life that relate to what you are reading. Pay close attention
when this happens and note what the Holy Spirit “highlights” for you. This will
help you study and keep track of what the Holy Spirit is saying to you.
Highlighting will also help you find a passage more easily in days to come.
It is always a good idea to highlight verses that you might need to find quickly
in the future and verses that God uses frequently and/or powerfully in your
When reporters want to get “the whole story,” they ask questions. The six
questions they always ask are; WHO? WHAT? WHEN? WHERE? WHY? AND HOW? If you
really want to understand the Bible, asking these same questions can help you,
Look back at 1 John 1. Try answering the
following “digging question.”
WHO? What group of people is John speaking to? If you have a study
Bible you can read the introduction to 1 John to get more information. This will
be important to know as you read all of 1 John.
Looking for “You”: Whenever you are reading scripture, be careful not to
dismiss God’s Word as being “for someone else.” The Bible is also God’s letter
to you. Be sure to always read the Bible listening to the voice of the Holy
Understanding scripture takes more than asking questions.
It also takes meditation.
Meditation: To meditate on scripture means to think it over for a
while, exploring your thoughts and feelings and letting the Holy Spirit speak to
you. Some religions teach that meditation means that you empty your mind of any
thought, but that is not Christian meditation. Christian meditation is thinking
about truth, the Bible, and how that applies to your life rather than trying to
think about nothing.
Try this: For a moment, think about what it would have been like to receive
this letter from John the Apostle and read it for the first time. What is John
trying to say to you about life with Christ?
When you study your Bible, resist the temptation to “get
it done and over with.” If you don’t take a moment to reflect and evaluate, you
may lose any insight that you gained.
What new thoughts did you have today during your Bible study?
Did you, at any point, think that you were connecting with or hearing from
God in a special way (even the “tiniest” thing counts)? Explain. It’s always
good to record these moments to look back on later.
Spend a few moments thanking God for loving you enough to give you His Bible.
Thank Him for giving you the intelligence to study it and apply it to your life.
Ask Him to continue to challenge you in the area of Bible study. Write down
anything that you want to remember from this prayer time.
Think of a title for today’s Bible study that reflects what you learned
personally and write the title in your journal. Previous weeks have had a title,
for the next three weeks you will be creating the title. Titling your Bible
study helps you evaluate what you have learned in a Bible study. It also helps
you find a journal entry later when you are looking for it.